Rishi Sunak Says His Tax Cut For The Rich Will Reduce NHS Waiting Lists

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to St George's hospital in London.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to St George's hospital in London.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to St George's hospital in London.

A controversial tax cut for the rich will help to reduce NHS waiting lists, Rishi Sunak has claimed.

The government has been criticised over changes to pensions rules unveiled by Jeremy Hunt in last week’s Budget.

Under the shake-up, the cap on the amount of money that high-earners can put in their pension pots before having to pay extra tax is being removed.

Labour has said it will scrap the “gilded giveaway” if it wins the next election.

But Sunak this morning insisted the move was designed to prevent doctors taking early retirement to avoid having to pay more tax.

He said: “This is about cutting waiting lists.

“You know, at this point, think about it, I’m sure almost every person watching this has in their extended circle of friends and family someone who is waiting for treatment.

“We need our best doctors, our experienced doctors, we need them working, and they want to work, they want to help get the waiting lists down, they want to work longer hours, they don’t want to retire.

“And because of the pension regime, they were stopped from doing that, it was preventing them from doing that.

“And I want to get the waiting list down and that’s why we’ve made the change that we’ve made, and it’s going to benefit everyone to get health care quicker.”

Labour has said it would encourage doctors to stay in work by creating a targeted pension scheme, as the government has done for judges, rather than create a “free-for-all for the wealthy few”.

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